Charles Coffin

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OB Assignment 2

Submitted To:
Ms. Shivani Raheja
Submitted By:
BBS -1E
Sushant Thakran, 50574

Question 1.
Analyze the leadership style of any Business Leader. Does it fit into any leadership theory? What do you think has made him or her a leader? Support your answer with the help of appropriate examples. Answer 1.

Charles Albert Coffin (31 December 1844 - 14 July 1926) was the cofounder and first President of General Electric corporation. The person he is only compared to during his lifetime was Thomas Edison. Coffin oversaw two social innovations of huge significance: America's first research laboratory and the idea of systematic management development. While Edison was essentially a genius with a thousand helpers, Coffin created a system of genius that did not depend on him. At the time of his death, he was the wealthiest person of the world.

"A man born to command, yet who never issued orders.”
This phrase sums up the leadership qualities of Charles A. Coffin, General Electric's first president. His executive skills helped establish GE's place in the front rank of American corporations. Electrical manufacturing was Coffin's second career. At 18, he moved from Fairfield, Maine, where he had been born in 1844, to enter his uncle's shoe business at Lynn, Massachusetts. He later founded his own shoe manufacturing firm, and by 1883 had established himself as an outstanding success in this line. In that year, Silas A. Barton, a Lynn businessman, proposed bringing to the city the struggling young American Electric Co. of New Britain, Connecticut, whose major asset was the inventive genius of Elihu Thomson. A businessman was needed to supplement Thomson's technical skills. Coffin was prevailed upon to take the post. He led the new company, Thomson-Houston, to parity with Thomas Edison's companies, the previous leaders in the field. When negotiations in 1892 led to the formation of General Electric, a key step in creating a viable enterprise was the...
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